Thankful list 2017 On My Migraine Life

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Thank you to those who showed gratitude in November on My Migraine Life.  I am so thankful to have a community of supporters and those I can support throughout the year.  We may suffer a lot but we appreciate the things in life that make us better.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!  May it be filled with health, gratitude, and many blessings!

Here are some comments you made:

  1. “Thankful for friends, family, a safe place to live and ability to pay my bills.
  2. For this group.
  3. Thankful for modern medicine
  4. Laughter
  5. I live for the pain-free moments of laughter with family and friends!!
  6. When pain level is low enough to be functional
  7. I am thankful that I am able to still keep a job that I love and be a good mommy to my kids
  8. Thankful for my family, my jobs, and my animals!
  9. I am so thankful for my amazing husband who allows me to tag out when I need to lay down and take care of myself. And for his willingness to work past exhaustion to take care of me and our family when I cannot “pull my weight” during times of pain.
  10. I’m thankful for my amazing and supportive husband. I’m also thankful for the awesome support system I have at work! Without my husband and my work family my life would be awful.
  11. I’m thankful for my amazing husband and children who support me every single day and for my beautiful family of migraine warriors!
  12. I am thankful for your blog! I do not like having “this thing” in common with anyone….but am thankful that you can put into words what I often can’t…or won’t.
  13. I am thankful to live in a city of doctors and options.
  14. I am thankful for a long list of relatives that share in our unfortunate disease, but not all at such a high level.
  15. I am thankful for my husband, who from day one has understood me, and what the future holds with my health, and has never flinched, never questioned, never judged.
  16. I am thankful for my children, good lord are they a blessing, God’s greatest gift to me by far.
  17. I am thankful for my energetic children, who give me a reason to muddle through my painful fog, even though sometimes I’d rather hide in bed.
  18. I want to thank My Migraine Life for your post on being a mom with a migraine.  You are right it takes a village to raise a kid.  That’s why God gave us the ability to ask for help.   But reading that other moms felt like I did was wonderful.  So thank you and I pray that your message touches other people like it did me.
  19. I feel blessed in many ways and could write a very long list, but the big one I will share is that I am thankful my migraines and headaches are not as frequent as so many others who have to deal with them so regularly.  Because I know how painful and debilitating from life they are, I am amazed at the strength that you and so many others have in not only “getting through the day” but kicking ass doing it.
  20. I woke up today, I’m thankful for that.
  21. I’m thankful to be finding community here, too. I’ve struggled with migraines for years, tried a variety of meds and elimination diets without very good results. It’s so helpful to find understanding, optimistic peers! I’m looking into a headache hat and a new pair of glasses this month, thanks to you!
  22. I am thankful for so many things I can’t name them all, so I am very thankful & although I may not have the best of everything I am blessed
  23. Thank you for this post.
  24. I am thankful for my wonderful husband who puts up with a house that’s not always clean, listens to me when I’m frustrated with doctors or treatments that don’t work, and doesn’t care that I don’t cook (lol).
  25. I’m thankful for my two grown children and 6 beautiful grandchildren.
  26. I’m thankful that I have two best buddy dogs that snuggle when I need it and keep me entertained when I’m stuck in my house for days on end.
  27. I’m thankful I woke up today even though the moment I woke up my headache knocked on my brain.
  28. I’m thankful for communities like this one that is a place of kindness and support.
  29. I’m thankful for today despite the challenges.
  30. I’m thankful for people like you that make me feel less alone in this struggle with chronic headaches.
  31. Like others have already said – I’m thankful for finding your blog, and this post especially.
  32. Love reading this blog and hearing how inspiring you are. “

Thank you to all who chose to take time out of your day to give thanks and share with My Migraine Life community.  I am inspired by all your kind words and strive to make this blog the community, support system, and positive place it is.  Migraines are painful, being a mom is overwhelming and life is chaotic.  May we all find strength and take each day at a time hopefully towards health and happiness!

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!!!

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Why I’m thankful, grateful and blessed the day after a Migraine

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This has been a tough weekend for me.  Friday I spend all day in bed and rode out a level 8+ pain level for over 5 hours as just part of my day fighting Migraine.  It was one of those day……

Along with all the people I listed in my Thankful post, yesterday I was simply thankful that I could leave my room.  Not many people understand the isolation of being chronically sick and the literal battle that is done within one’s self.

Yesterday I felt like a super hero for just being able to leave my room.  Small victory for most but for those of us who understand…..a reason to be THANKFUL!

Please continue to add to my list on how your are thankful, grateful and blessed.  Just setting the intention of finding something positive in each day may change your outlook altogether.   Comment here on the blog, on facebook, twitter or Instagram.  You don’t need to have migraine to comment.  Everyone should find gratitude in their day!

13 ways to survive working with Chronic Illness

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I have been a full time teacher with Chronic Migraine.

I have been a full time stay at home mom with Chronic Migraine. 

I am a full time mom and part time teacher with Chronic Migraine. 

They all are difficult jobs and adding a chronic illness makes life even more complicated and difficult.  

So the questions remains, how do you work while having Chronic Migraine?  How was I able to return to work

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  • Work part time

I only work a few days a week and seem to have letdown migraines on my days off.  I save time for self-care during those day.

Tip: Know time off policies and if a substitute is available

 

  • Find coworkers who support you

At my job that I missed a lot of time off, my boss was arrogant and my coworkers were judgmental.  With my new job, my coworkers are like a supportive family and my boss is loving and understanding.  This benefits the group because I’m not motivated to work out of judgment or consequences but out of commitment and love for the job and workers I call friends. I really have fun at work and love to be there.

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  • Ask for and learn how to accommodate your needs 

I requested that my classroom be on the side of the building that does not get direct sun or heat.  I also have control over the lighting.  Heat and lights (fluorescent) are especially big triggers.  I use Axon Optics glasses on days I need extra light protection for my eyes.  I use other lotions, oils and natural products to treat myself topically.

  • Understand clients

I found that when I disclosed that I had Chronic Migraine to my boss at one job I was judged and at my current job she understood me better.  The same goes for clients.  As a teacher who was missing work, I sent home a letter explaining my chronic disease.  I found that the parents were very open and appreciated my honesty but I was unsure what the feedback would be.  Understanding the children and families I work for has allowed me to personally connect more.  I feel like my families want the best for me as I want the best for them and mutual respect once again motivates me.

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  • Low stress, high reward

With a part time position, my stress has decreased tremendously.  I am able to focus on myself, my family and other aspects of my life other than my job.  Stress was my main factor in turning episodic to chronic.  I now have a handle on how to deal with stress and my priorities are different.  As a teacher without children and now with children, my views on teaching are very different. I have always had a passion for teaching and love children.  The reward is huge!!!  Being someone who is making a difference every day and seeing growth in my students is so rewarding. 

It gives me pure joy and joy is great medication! Find joy in your job.

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  • Set realistic goals and expectations

Putting pressure on myself to be something I’m not only raises stress.  I have realistic ideas of what I can do, what I want to do and how I’m going to attain those goals.  Setting myself up for failure will only derail my treatment.  I set goals I know I can reach and am proud when I meet them.  A positive attitude and learning from the past allows me to move forward.

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  • Commute

Driving is extremely difficult with even a low grade migraine.  At my old job I had a longer commute and found that many days I was throwing up on the side of the road before and after work.  At times I liked it to decompress but most of the time was pained from the drive.  I now have a short drive that I can drive to with my eyes closed (don’t worry, I don’t but I could).

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  • Water, coffee and snacks

Caffeine can be a benefit or trigger.  Coffee  is beneficial to my migraines. During my morning of teaching, I drink coffee before the students arrive and drink a huge water bottle throughout my day.   As a class, we have scheduled potty breaks and snack time so we all get time to refuel. 

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  • Sleep schedule

I wake up the same time every day whether I’m working or not.  I stay on a consistent sleep schedule in order to be refreshed and ready for my day.

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  • Take breaks

When I feel a migraine raising, I get a bit panicked.  During my students specials I have the ability to take a break, focus, drink more coffee, or water.  Just allowing 10 minutes of quiet and focused breathing make a world of difference to my rising pain.

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  • Use flexible work time if possible

I am able to get a lot of my work done outside of the classroom.  I am also a busy mom and find that planning and prepping can be done once they go to bed.  Instead of staying late at school, I bring a lot of my work home and also plan ahead.  By being over prepared I am able to relieve stress.  If I’m sick in bed and worrying about work, I get sicker.  When I have everything done, being sick for days doesn’t stress me out about work because I know I’m prepared.  Planning and being prepared makes my life, in general, much easier.

  • Moving my body and distraction

There are days I go to school feeling sick and am completely consumed by my students.  The minute my students leave and all is quiet, the pain comes flooding back.  I’m so distracted and filled with endorphins while I’m at school that at the end of the day I’m punished more.  There have been days that I work till lunch and am in bed until the next day.  The distraction of a job that I love helps me get through many mornings.

Having a job that I am active in helps.  Stretching, dancing and moving keeps my body active.  I would not be unable to sit at a desk staring at a screen all day.  My body needs to move and my brain needs a break from technology.

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  • Money vs time

As a part time employee in the teaching field, you can imagine I’m not a millionaire.  Working salary and full time was not something I could keep up with.  Working part time, I do not make a lot of money but am able to do what I love with people I care for.  Sometimes money isn’t everything (although it pays for my medical expenses, so I really need it).

 

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 With all of this said, I found a dream job.  Not everyone gets to work part time (either financially or in their field of interest).  Disability is difficult to get as a migraine sufferer and most jobs it is difficult to find balance.  Time off isn’t always possible without consequences and substitutes are not common. Falling behind on work is inevitable.  Finding coworkers that are friends is not a choice but a lucky draw.  The same goes for bosses.

All circumstances and lives are different.  I encourage you to find something you love.  Find a part time job, a job online, a job that can be flexible and a job that makes you happy.  Migraine is the definition of pain and unhappiness…..find something you love and makes you better.  Easier written than done, I know!!!

I, honestly, was not sure if I’d ever be able to go back to teaching with how severe my disease is.   I took a chance and it paid off.  I was very aware that it may not be possible, but I never let that deter me.  I tried it and it worked.  Not every job works but I’m so glad I took that leap.

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Runnin’ for Headache and Migraine Research 2017

 

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Here it is….that time of year where the leaves are changing, the air is getting crisper and it’s time to donate.  During the Fall, I participate in many charity walks and Runnin’ for Research is one that makes me feel like I’m making a difference for my own cause

The last 2 years I have participated virtually.

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2016

Runnin’ for Research, Inc. (R4R), was founded in 2015 as a charitable organization dedicated to research, awareness, empowerment, and advocacy in all areas of headache and migraine disorders. The primary mechanism to accomplish the missions is the organization and implementation of 5K runs and walks throughout the United States.

Contributions to R4R are used to recruit, support, market, and manage local race events with all proceeds from these events being used to support the missions of the organization. In 2016, R4R completed three run/walk events, including Morgantown, West Virginia; Louisville, Kentucky; and Kansas City, Missouri. Donations totaling $48,000 were given to various organizations, including the American Migraine Foundation, National Headache Foundation, Migraine Research Foundation, American Brain Foundation, and the American Headache and Migraine Association. Other entities may be supported upon request if they align with the mission of R4R.”

Runnin’ for Research is now an independent 501(c)(3) organization. Their mission is to “To improve the quality of life of those who suffer with headache and migraine disorders through fundraising for quality research and the promotion of patient empowerment, community awareness, and local and national advocacy.”

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How you can participate:

Check out the upcoming races

Runnin’ for Research will be run in Kansas City, MO September 30, 2017

Morgantown, WV, and Denver, CO on October 7, 2017

If you are unable to participate in those locations or aren’t able to “run for research” all donations are welcome and MUCH APPRECIATED!  A small donation goes a long way….

Thank You!!!

#MondayMotivation Less doing and more being

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Today’s #MondayMotivation is a reminder to drop the “to do list” and focus on “being.”  I find this really, REALLY hard to do!!!!  I’m a mom, wife, teacher and migraine sufferer.  Where do I have time to just be?  With my migraines, I find I always have a list in my head to get done ahead of time preparing for a migraine.  I also have a list of things that accumulate while I have a migraine and am unable to do it. The list goes on…..

This week is the week before school.  My children are growing up so fast and my migraines make me miss so much! This week I’m going to focus on extending good night kisses, cuddling my babies longer, dancing more, being kinder to myself, letting go, being proud and getting lost in the moment.  I’m going to let go of the to do list while I have a migraine and not feel pressured to check off that list while I’m playing legos on the floor.

This seems nearly impossible, but I’m going to try! MUCH easier said than done……..

Please Excuse the advertisement at the end.  I do not endorse this product and have not tried it. Originally posted on https://www.facebook.com/SanctuarySpaHQ/?hc_ref=ARSUxEeI7tunSfT59ScNhKmrKl8DRKlmMzQ5dSkN7JuUesXNuMJ2HKkYXzKnv8WEjn4&fref=nf

Last year’s birthday and migraine motivation

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This week is my birthday! As I looked back at where I was last year, I was struggling but happy. I’m about the same but can say I’ve seen growth. I strengthened my time management this year and really focused on doing things that make me happier and healthier.

I started a new job that inspires me to feel better, gives me a new sense of purpose and the people there make me smile and laugh.  Being a teacher and changing lives is very motivating and the families I work with are incredible!

My Migraine Life has done a lot of great things and I’m very proud of my blog being so unique and well received. I had never read a blog when I began this journey and I’m proud that I created this community and am helping so many in my own way.

Please endorse My Migraine Life for Wego Health Awards. It’s a nice thank you for all my hard work!  Just go to the link and scroll to the thumbs up!

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I still have a lot of “bad days” and feel better knowing that on my less painful days I’m helping and teaching so many.  I’m using my good days for the good and that is the best I can do.  On those bad days…..I’ll “just keep swimming!”

Last year’s birthday post!

Migraine Awareness ChronicAlly box to relieve, relax and enjoy!

This month I got my Limited Edition Migraine Awareness ChronicAlly box.*  During the month of June, Migraine Awareness month, the box was offered to support Migraine Research Foundation.  I had treated myself to a 3 month subscription for June, July, and August.  My birthday is in August so “Happy Birthday to me!”  It’s been fun to receive a package made for comfort, support and with love.

migraine chronically.jpgThe box had something to use in a variety ways for My Migraine Life.

It included:

A sleep mask to block out the light.

An organic essential oil and electrolyte spray for pain and migraine relief

Headache and migraine relief roller for pressure points

Shower fizzie with lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint

Meditation unscented soy candle

I love it!  I’ll use the products to sleep, take a bath & shower, on the go and at home.  They are great “allies” for my headache and migraine needs! Check out all ChronicAlly has to offer here*

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Don’t forget to endorse My Migraine Life for Wego Awards.  Please scroll down to the thumbs up and endorse for Best in Show: blog, Instagram, Facebook, and twitter.  Tweet and share on Facebook to let others know.  I appreciate you taking the time to say “Thank you!” and “Keep up the good work!”  It means a lot to be recognized for my hard work for the Migraine and Chronic Illness community.

 

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